The Basilica of Saint Mary

The official page of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Alexandria, the first Catholic parish established in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1795.

Founded in 1795, the Church of St. Mary, located in Alexandria, Virginia, is the oldest Catholic parish in the Commonwealth of Virginia and West Virginia, which comprised one state territory until 1863. President George Washington made the first contribution for the creation of a Catholic parish in Virginia in the late 1700s, equivalent to approximately $1,200 today. A chapel was built at the sout

Operating as usual

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 06/14/2021

Father Andrew Thornton offered a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Basilica of Saint Mary on Sunday. He served as a deacon at the Basilica on weekends during his final year of seminary studies at Mount Saint Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Father Thornton is a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 5 by Bishop Timothy Doherty at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Lafayette. He is from Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Muncie, Indiana.

06/14/2021

NEW PODCAST: A conversation with Diocese of Arlington seminarian Jordan Evans is featured on our newest edition of The Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. Listen on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/jordan-evans-podcast-2021, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Jordan is assigned to the Basilica of Saint Mary for his summer assignment. His home parish is Saint John the Evangelist in Warrenton. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and worked as a FOCUS college missionary before entering seminary. He is in formation at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and will begin Theology I studies this fall.

NEW PODCAST: A conversation with Diocese of Arlington seminarian Jordan Evans is featured on our newest edition of The Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. Listen on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/jordan-evans-podcast-2021, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Jordan is assigned to the Basilica of Saint Mary for his summer assignment. His home parish is Saint John the Evangelist in Warrenton. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and worked as a FOCUS college missionary before entering seminary. He is in formation at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and will begin Theology I studies this fall.

06/09/2021

NEW PODCAST: Alex Solsma, the Basilica’s Director of Communications and Evangelization, has a conversation with Father Jonathan Smith on our newest edition of The Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. Listen here on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-smith-podcast-2021, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Father Smith, whose home parish is the Basilica of Saint Mary, was ordained to the priesthood on June 5 by Bishop Michael Burbidge at the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington.

Later this month, Father Smith will begin his first priestly assignment as the Parochial Vicar at Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish in Clifton.

NEW PODCAST: Alex Solsma, the Basilica’s Director of Communications and Evangelization, has a conversation with Father Jonathan Smith on our newest edition of The Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. Listen here on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-smith-podcast-2021, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Father Smith, whose home parish is the Basilica of Saint Mary, was ordained to the priesthood on June 5 by Bishop Michael Burbidge at the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington.

Later this month, Father Smith will begin his first priestly assignment as the Parochial Vicar at Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish in Clifton.

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 06/08/2021

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 06/07/2021

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post

Region's bishops issue joint statement lifting Mass dispensation 06/02/2021

Region's bishops issue joint statement lifting Mass dispensation

Region's bishops issue joint statement lifting Mass dispensation Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori and Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge join other bishops of the province to announce the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass will be lifted June 26-27.

05/26/2021

Father Hathaway was presented with an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis today to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Father Hathaway was ordained on May 18, 1991.

Father Hathaway was presented with an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis today to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Father Hathaway was ordained on May 18, 1991.

Bishop Burbidge to lift most COVID-19 protocols beginning May 28 - The Basilica of Saint Mary 05/25/2021

Bishop Burbidge to lift most COVID-19 protocols beginning May 28 - The Basilica of Saint Mary

Earlier this month, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will lift nearly all of its COVID-19 mitigation restrictions on May 28. In response, Bishop Michael Burbidge has announced that the Diocese of Arlington will lift most of its COVID-19 protocols beginning this Friday. Read more details on our parish website: https://stmaryoldtown.org/may-28-covid-update

Bishop Burbidge to lift most COVID-19 protocols beginning May 28 - The Basilica of Saint Mary Earlier this month, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will lift nearly all of its COVID-19 mitigation restrictions on May...

05/21/2021
05/19/2021

NEW PODCAST: Father Noah Morey, Chaplain at Bishop Ireton High School and a priest in residence at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s life and virtues on our newest podcast. Listen here on our parish website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-noah-life-virtues-st-joseph-podcast, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This is the fifth installment in our Year of Saint Joseph Series. During this Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica will release a podcast about Saint Joseph on the 19th of every month.

NEW PODCAST: Father Noah Morey, Chaplain at Bishop Ireton High School and a priest in residence at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s life and virtues on our newest podcast. Listen here on our parish website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-noah-life-virtues-st-joseph-podcast, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This is the fifth installment in our Year of Saint Joseph Series. During this Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica will release a podcast about Saint Joseph on the 19th of every month.

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 05/18/2021

On this day 30 years ago, Father Hathaway was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John Keating at the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington. Congratulations to Father Hathaway and our other priests celebrating their anniversaries!

05/17/2021

NEW PODCAST: Father Nicholas Blank offers a reflection on “The Hands of the Father and the Son” on our newest edition of the Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. It was recorded at a Knights of Columbus Morning of Reflection on Saturday. Listen to it on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-nicholas-may-2021-reflection-podcast or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

NEW PODCAST: Father Nicholas Blank offers a reflection on “The Hands of the Father and the Son” on our newest edition of the Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. It was recorded at a Knights of Columbus Morning of Reflection on Saturday. Listen to it on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-nicholas-may-2021-reflection-podcast or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

05/13/2021

Father Nicholas Blank has been named Parochial Vicar at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Warrenton. Father Nicholas has served as a Parochial Vicar at the Basilica of Saint Mary since his ordination to the priesthood in 2019.

Deacon Joseph Townsend, who will be ordained to the priesthood on June 5, has been assigned to the Basilica of Saint Mary as a Parochial Vicar. Last year, Deacon Townsend was at the Basilica of Saint Mary for his summer assignment.

Read more details here on our parish website: https://stmaryoldtown.org/priest-assignments-2021

Father Nicholas Blank has been named Parochial Vicar at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Warrenton. Father Nicholas has served as a Parochial Vicar at the Basilica of Saint Mary since his ordination to the priesthood in 2019.

Deacon Joseph Townsend, who will be ordained to the priesthood on June 5, has been assigned to the Basilica of Saint Mary as a Parochial Vicar. Last year, Deacon Townsend was at the Basilica of Saint Mary for his summer assignment.

Read more details here on our parish website: https://stmaryoldtown.org/priest-assignments-2021

05/13/2021

Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. On this day in 1917, Mary made her first in a series of appearances to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Her requests included urging us to pray the Rosary daily and to offer sacrifices as acts of reparation for the conversion of sinners and for sins against Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. On this day in 1917, Mary made her first in a series of appearances to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Her requests included urging us to pray the Rosary daily and to offer sacrifices as acts of reparation for the conversion of sinners and for sins against Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

05/12/2021

NEW PODCAST: Our latest podcast features a conversation with Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq. During the podcast, he reflects on the recent Papal visit to Iraq by Pope Francis and shares his vision for the future of the Church in his archdiocese. He was recently staying at the Basilica of Saint Mary during a visit to the United States. Listen here on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/warda-podcast-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

NEW PODCAST: Our latest podcast features a conversation with Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq. During the podcast, he reflects on the recent Papal visit to Iraq by Pope Francis and shares his vision for the future of the Church in his archdiocese. He was recently staying at the Basilica of Saint Mary during a visit to the United States. Listen here on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/warda-podcast-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 05/11/2021

Last Saturday, nearly 20 families joined Father Nicholas on a pilgrimage to the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Both sites are about 75 miles from the Basilica of Saint Mary.

05/10/2021

For centuries, Catholics have recognized May as the “Month of Mary.” Students at the Basilica School of Saint Mary continued our May Crowning tradition today. Father Hathaway led the ceremony. The May Queen of the Court was Maeve McCarthy.

For centuries, Catholics have recognized May as the “Month of Mary.” Students at the Basilica School of Saint Mary continued our May Crowning tradition today. Father Hathaway led the ceremony. The May Queen of the Court was Maeve McCarthy.

05/06/2021

For centuries, Catholics have recognized May as the Month of Mary. One of the special ways that we can venerate Mary during this month is to make a Marian pilgrimage. We have mapped out a route featuring significant Marian sites in our region. You could visit all these sites in a day. View it here: https://stmaryoldtown.org/regional-marian-pilgrimage

For centuries, Catholics have recognized May as the Month of Mary. One of the special ways that we can venerate Mary during this month is to make a Marian pilgrimage. We have mapped out a route featuring significant Marian sites in our region. You could visit all these sites in a day. View it here: https://stmaryoldtown.org/regional-marian-pilgrimage

05/03/2021

NEW PODCAST: Father David Dufresne offers a reflection on the the Miracle at Cana during our Communal First Saturday for May. Listen to his mediation on the Second Luminous Mystery of the Rosary on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-david-miracle-cana-podcast-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

NEW PODCAST: Father David Dufresne offers a reflection on the the Miracle at Cana during our Communal First Saturday for May. Listen to his mediation on the Second Luminous Mystery of the Rosary on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-david-miracle-cana-podcast-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

04/19/2021

NEW PODCAST: Father Nicholas Blank reflects on Saint Joseph’s role as the Light of Patriarchs. Listen here on our website or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. https://stmaryoldtown.org/father-nicholas-blank-light-of-patriarchs

This is the fourth installment in our Year of Saint Joseph Series. During this Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica will release a podcast about Saint Joseph on the 19th of every month.

NEW PODCAST: Father Nicholas Blank reflects on Saint Joseph’s role as the Light of Patriarchs. Listen here on our website or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. https://stmaryoldtown.org/father-nicholas-blank-light-of-patriarchs

This is the fourth installment in our Year of Saint Joseph Series. During this Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica will release a podcast about Saint Joseph on the 19th of every month.

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 04/11/2021

John O’Farrell, whose home parish is the Basilica of Saint Mary, was ordained to the diaconate yesterday. Today, he preached his first homily during a Mass at the Basilica. Watch a video of his homily and view photos from the Mass here: https://stmaryoldtown.org/ofarrell-ordained-deacon

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 04/04/2021

He is risen, alleluia! Photos from our Easter Vigil Mass.

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post 04/02/2021

Photos from The Basilica of Saint Mary's post

04/01/2021

NEW VIDEO: Father Hathaway offers his 2021 Easter greeting and message in this new video. https://youtu.be/uoVaTWmjedg

And, back by popular demand, he provides some instructions and tips for your Easter meal. He describes how to make lamb, deviled egg chicks and chocolate nests.

NEW VIDEO: Father Hathaway offers his 2021 Easter greeting and message in this new video. https://youtu.be/uoVaTWmjedg

And, back by popular demand, he provides some instructions and tips for your Easter meal. He describes how to make lamb, deviled egg chicks and chocolate nests.

03/19/2021

NEW PODCAST: On this Solemnity of Saint Joseph, we release the third installment in our Year of Saint Joseph Podcast Series. Father David Dufresne, a Parochial Vicar at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s role as the Terror of Demons. Listen here on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-david-st-joseph-march-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

During this Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica will release a podcast about Saint Joseph on the 19th of every month.

NEW PODCAST: On this Solemnity of Saint Joseph, we release the third installment in our Year of Saint Joseph Podcast Series. Father David Dufresne, a Parochial Vicar at the Basilica of Saint Mary, reflects on Saint Joseph’s role as the Terror of Demons. Listen here on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/fr-david-st-joseph-march-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

During this Year of Saint Joseph, the Basilica will release a podcast about Saint Joseph on the 19th of every month.

03/18/2021

The 2021 Virtual Hooley raised $1,218 for Christ House. The annual event, hosted by the Basilica of Saint Mary and the Basilica’s Ancient Order of Hibernians ~ Herbert-Cady Division, was done virtually this year due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, Old Town in Alexandria donated 20% of the proceeds for their to-go orders on March 12 and 13 to Christ House. Then, a virtual program was presented for people to watch as they enjoyed their meal from Murphy’s. Virtual attendees also had the option to make a direct contribution to Christ House on Faith Direct.

Christ House in Alexandria is a program of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. Founded in 1973, Christ House provides emergency assistance, distributes free meals every day, runs a food pantry with perishable and non-perishable foods for the homeless and low income households, manages a men’s transitional housing program, and operates a thrift store.

The 2021 Virtual Hooley raised $1,218 for Christ House. The annual event, hosted by the Basilica of Saint Mary and the Basilica’s Ancient Order of Hibernians ~ Herbert-Cady Division, was done virtually this year due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, Old Town in Alexandria donated 20% of the proceeds for their to-go orders on March 12 and 13 to Christ House. Then, a virtual program was presented for people to watch as they enjoyed their meal from Murphy’s. Virtual attendees also had the option to make a direct contribution to Christ House on Faith Direct.

Christ House in Alexandria is a program of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. Founded in 1973, Christ House provides emergency assistance, distributes free meals every day, runs a food pantry with perishable and non-perishable foods for the homeless and low income households, manages a men’s transitional housing program, and operates a thrift store.

03/17/2021

Happy Saint Patrick's Day from the Basilica of Saint Mary.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day from the Basilica of Saint Mary.

03/16/2021

NEW PODCAST: Erin Thielman, a parishioner and school parent at the Basilica School of Saint Mary, shares her experiences of raising a son with Down syndrome in a conversation with Alex Solsma on the Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. You can listen on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/erin-thielman-podcast-march-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This Sunday, March 21st, is World Down Syndrome Day.

Erin is a Catholic writer and speaker. She also is a pro-life advocate, particularly on behalf of people with Down syndrome.

NEW PODCAST: Erin Thielman, a parishioner and school parent at the Basilica School of Saint Mary, shares her experiences of raising a son with Down syndrome in a conversation with Alex Solsma on the Basilica of Saint Mary Podcast. You can listen on our website https://stmaryoldtown.org/erin-thielman-podcast-march-2021 or on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This Sunday, March 21st, is World Down Syndrome Day.

Erin is a Catholic writer and speaker. She also is a pro-life advocate, particularly on behalf of people with Down syndrome.

Our Story

Founded in 1795, the Basilica of Saint Mary, located in Alexandria, Virginia, is the first Catholic parish in the Commonwealth of Virginia and West Virginia, which were one state territory up until 1863. President George Washington made the first contribution for the creation of a Catholic parish in Virginia in the late 1700s, equivalent to approximately $1,200 today. A donation was made for a portion of land at the sound end of the city on Church and South Washington Streets. It was here that the first brick structure known as the Church of Saint Mary was built under the guidance of the Very Reverend Francis Ignatius Neale, S.J. in 1795. The land later became, and still remains today, the Basilica of Saint Mary’s cemetery, the first Catholic cemetery in Virginia.

In 1810, the parish moved to its present location in the heart of the city at 310 South Royal Street. By 1826, Pastor Fr. Joseph Fairclough erected the Sanctuary and the major portion of the present-day church, which was formally dedicated in 1827. Throughout the 1800s, Saint Mary played a crucial role in the growth of Catholicism in Virginia. Many mission churches that the Basilica of Saint Mary established have gone on to become independent parishes within the Diocese of Arlington.

Today, the Basilica of Saint Mary continues to be a vibrant and lively parish community with 54 apostolate groups, 400 parishioners regularly volunteering throughout the community, 18 lay staff members and 3 full-time priests. In 2020, the Basilica of Saint Mary will celebrate 225 years of parish life.

Videos (show all)

The 2020 Saints Peter and Paul Conference in Four Minutes
Corpus Christi procession in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
NEW VIDEO: A view of our sanctuary stained glass window from the church attic.
It’s Family Bingo Night sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. All proceeds benefit the Julia Petrino Memo...
The Basilica of Saint Mary Schola Cantorum and Children’s Choir are performing at our Advent Lessons and Carols.
The lighting of the Basilica of Saint Mary Christmas Tree. It is located in the Basilica Courtyard.
Happy Thanksgiving from Father Hathaway and the Basilica of Saint Mary. Join us for Mass at 9:00 am today to show your g...
‪Father Hathaway is blessing the pets of our parishioners, school families, and neighbors to comemorate the Memorial of ...
"Hail Mary, Gentle Woman"
Father Nicholas Blank on Faithful Friendships - Camp Apostles 2019
Seminarian Tony Bennett on Community - Camp Apostles 2019

Location

Telephone

Address


310 South Royal St
Alexandria, VA
22314

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 19:30
Tuesday 09:00 - 19:30
Wednesday 09:00 - 19:30
Thursday 09:00 - 19:30
Friday 09:00 - 19:30
Saturday 09:00 - 16:00
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Basilica of Saint Mary's Youth and Young Adults Basilica of Saint Mary's Youth and Young Adults
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Office of the Youth and Young Adult Apostolates at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.